Gender is often a tricky subject for most. Understanding other people’s gender identity as well as your own is very difficult for some people, including myself. Gender identity is a person’s perception of having a particular gender, which may or may not correspond with their birth sex. People can fall anywhere on the spectrum. Some people are transgender, which means they are a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex. Some are cisgender instead. All cisgender really means is that a person’s gender identity matches their assigned gender at birth. Gender expression is the way in which a person expresses their gender identity, typically through their appearance, dress, and behavior. To help individuals who are lacking in understanding how significant gender identity and expression are, I asked some questions to a friend of mine who is genderqueer identifying.
- What do you identify as, and why?
- What does your gender identity mean to you?
- What does the phrase ‘gender expression’ mean to you? How do you choose to express your gender?
“I identify as agender and genderfluid. Gender has always been weird for me, because it never really made sense. I never understood what it felt like to fully identify as one specific gender, or why it was so important that I had to identify as one one thing or another. I’m just a person who doesn’t really feel particularly male, female, or anything else.
Gender expression is how I choose to dress, most of the time. I never really act any different, regardless of whatever gender I’m feeling that day. I’m still the same person, so I don’t see any reason to act different. I sometimes present more masculine or feminine through my clothes. Most of the time I dress pretty androgynous because that seems to fit how I tend to feel most days.” -Anonymous
Gender identity is a very personal and confusing subject. The best thing to do is accept everyone no matter how they identify, and let people be who they are. I hope this piece can help anyone questioning their gender or anyone who just wants to better understand the topic.